Fashion’s Best Kept Secret

After High Street Seniors I raced up to Dalston Junction to the new CLR James Library. Those of us who booked with Joy Francis, Managing Director of Words Of Colour were the lucky ones to get into the venue before the masses. Tonight’s presentation as part of Black History Month celebrations in Hackney Libraries and, let’s remember it’s UN Year of People Of African Descent (which means all of humankind), was a debate chaired by Joy. The pertinent issue debated or rather discussed by the panel of eminent writers, editors and entrepeneurs is the fact that African fashion designs, black designers and black models in UK 2011 are not achieving equality of opportunity.

The room was packed. The session was serious and really the speakers wanted we the audience to get the message that when they support each other as black business people  they will have the power to  make others (mainstream white businesses and media) realise that they, black designers and  black houses of fashion, will have definitely and without compromise equal and solid shares in the business hierarchy. Often the word African  was used such that one listener asked whether the panel saw themselves as Africans designing fashionable attire  or black fashion experts creating all that is marketable based on African designs.

There was much to ponder in less than 90 minutes. There are many people from many backgrounds who are surprised at the British Gas’s advert  which reflects the diversity in London,  at least,  with a cartoon using what could be  a Sikh guy, then a woman technician/engineer, a black guy  and  a laughing cat. There are many people of many hues  asking “Where are the black people in the adverts?” Age UK had their token black guys and that was noticed and I mean that it was not enough.

Media keeps the world spinning and so is powerful. That lightweight Dyson still belongs to a woman. We all have miles to go yet. Tonight at CLR James Library was a step more towards demolishing complacency about the status quo.

Up Your Street5 issue 22

Fri        June 10th          free          9pm Open The Gate, 33 Stoke Newington Rd celebrates 1 year. Congrats.
                                              free            1-3pm creative embroidery course . Hathaway Centre East Ham
Sat   June 11th     free  1-4pm  Summer Festival, Abbey Gardens. Bakers Row E15
Sun June 12th     free  2-10pm  Arcola Theatre’s Cycle Sunday. Go to Arcola Theatre, Ashwin St. E8
                                      Artist led bicycle events incl. discussions, crafts and ending at Dalston Eastern Curve Garden
                                                              (opp. Dalston Junction) Phone 02075031645
Mon   June 13th           Time to phone the Olympic and Paralympic Park tours for the free tours in September!
                                       Go to the website for London 2012
                              free noon  walking with Hackney Trainers from CLR James Library to London Fields
Tues  June 14th    free 10-1 pm learn about blogging  Hackney Central Library, Mare Street.
                       free   6.30pm Meet Drapers Park, Leyton to discuss use
                                                                               of green spaces.
Wed    June 15th  free 8-9.30 pm 58 Malborough Rd, Chingford E4. Taste of meditation with
Thurs  June 16th  free 11-3pm an event for informal carers at Central Park, E6
                                                free    6.30pm Openstage 2012 TRSE volunteers meet  Theatre Royal Stratford
Fri      June  17th   free  1-3pm embroidery workshop at Hathaway Centre, East Ham (58 bus).
                               free but book with Mind in Newham 1-4pm Stratford Circus. Showcase of work
                                                                             by Mind workshop participants.
Sat     June 18th    free10-4 Homemade market at St John’s Church,
                                 Hackney by Narrow Way. weekly
                                      free  11am – 2pm  Radical Ramble .. Meeting at Stoke Newington’s Town Hall,
                                                                                                . book at 

   free 1pm Bruce Castle Fun Day, Tottenham part of Tottenham Carnival.


Up Your Street5   an information-sharing service for seniors listing free events and activities in the 5 London 2012 boroughs.